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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Taurasi Riserva Piano di Montevergine is a standout wine that excels on all fronts. The bouquet delivers an enormous level of harmony and intensity with well-articulated tones of spice, dark fruit, pressed blackberry, clove, cola and balsam herb. Nuanced mineral notes stand out very nicely and render a great sense of definition and focus. Equally impressive is the mouthfeel that moves over the palate with determination and elegance. The tannins are finessed, silky but extra firm. Thanks to the balanced acidity and its natural structure, this win ...Read More »
Ravello, carved into the hillsides overlooking the Mediterranean on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of my favorite places on earth. Maybe it's because it is where my husband and I honeymooned, but honestly I was in love with Ravello before I ever set foot there, and that goes back to this wine. Made from 60% Falanghina and 40% Biancolella grown in the rocky, calcareous soils of both Ravello and Scala, this slightly floral, wonderfully mineral, fresh white wine tastes like the crystalline blue sea and sunshine captured in a bottle. It is particularly delicio... Read More »
93 points Wine & Spirits: "Troisi’s basic fiano is less intense than his single-vineyard Aipierti (reviewed above), yet it’s also terrifically impressive. Delicate scents of orange blossom and bee pollen give way to flavors of fresh apple, pear and lemon that take on a honeyed richness with air, developing notes of salted almonds and nori that add a savory character. A stream of salinity runs through the dense, waxy texture and gives direction to the rich fruit flavors, bringing them to an energetic and refreshing finish." (10/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Deep gold-tinged yellow. Knockout Fiano aromas of ...Read More »
A blend of black Pallagrello and Casavecchia grapes. Notes from the winery: "The wine is a beautiful bright pink color, with delicate scents with notes ranging from floral eglantine roses with hints of cherry and sour black cherry. Its flavor is characterized by a remarkable freshness supported by good acidity that nicely extends the persistence."
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Paestum Aglianico Donnaluna is an easy-going wine with earthy aromas of crushed mineral and wet terra-cotta. The bouquet shows wild and untamed layers of red fruit, forest floor, pressed rose and cola. Donnaluna delivers a medium dark color and consistency with sweet cherry flavors on the close. The tannins are solid but round and there's a good dose of freshness on the close. (ML)" (4/2015)
Praise from Ian D'Agata: "The third and fourth generations of the Di Meo family are propelling this estate into the stratosphere of Italian wine production. Along with wines from Mustilli and Contrada Salandra, there are no better Falanghina bottlings made anywhere than these. Following a stint with world-famous consulting enologist Roberto Cipresso, Vincenzo Di Meo is the winemaker here. The estate vineyards are situated in the particularly sandy Campi Flegrei production zone, which seems especially well suited to Falanghina, of which there are at least... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Bright, pale straw-yellow. Complex, mineral-driven aromas of orchard fruit, chamomile and anise. Bright, fresh and juicy, showing sneaky concentration and noteworthy floral lift to the orchard fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes long and delicately savory, with a strong mineral overlay. One of the best young Frassitellis I can recall. Incidentally, the name Frassitelli refers to one of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, located at roughly 600 meters above sea level and offering a spectacular view of Capri and Procida. The top portion of the vineyard i ...Read More »
The I Favati winery is located in Cesinale, a town and surrounding hilly area in the heart of Irpinia (east of Naples, in the region of Campania), a land with a profound calling to the creation of quality wines. Irpinia's unique, indigenous grape varieties make up all of I Favati's vineyards, which benefit from a perfect exposition to the sun. Each year, the harvest is carefully supervised by brothers Piersabino and Giancarlo Favati, founders of the winery. The region of Irpinia contains the DOCG of Taurasi, which is considered by many to produce the gre... Read More »
94 points Vinous: "Bright dark yellow-gold. Enticing aromas of ripe peach, lime, ginger, custard cream, spring flowers and minerals. Dense, smooth and rich, offering precise, strong flavors of ripe stone fruit, raisin, caramelized fig and crème brûlée. Quite perfumed in the mouth, and nicely balanced; the long finish displays a seamless quality and remarkable freshness for such a big, concentrated wine." (11/2014) K&L Notes: About the producer: "Among vines and rocks rising vertically over the sea of Furore, we find Cantine Marisa Cuomo. The grapes that grow here, clinging to the rocks... Read More »
Vinous: "Golden yellow color. Honeyed white peach and pear aromas are complemented by chamomile on the fresh nose. Bright, savory flavors of stone and fresh citrus fruits are juicy and clean if a bit simple. The moderately long finish shows lovely floral lift. Only 12.5% alcohol. (ID)" (9/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Greco di Tufo shows beautiful luminosity and pretty tones of citrus, peach and pear. Fruit is sourced from the Santa Paolina and Prata areas with clay and limestone soils. Harvest ends the first week of October. This is a tonic and balanced effort with impressive fruit brightness and simple, clean lines. It needs another three or four years to flesh out further. (ML)" (4/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Bright straw-yellow. Clean aromas of yellow apple, pear, lime and white pepper. Vibrant, juicy citrus and stone fruit flavors are complicated by salty minerality, with the s ...Read More »
97 points James Suckling: "Complex aromas of blackberry, stones, cracked black pepper and tar. Full body with soft, round tannins and a juicy, fruity finish. Soulful and refined from this estate. This is a magical wine from Southern Italy." (2/2014) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a hot vintage, the 2011 Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro is a soft, round wine with a large presence of dark cherry fruit and blackberry. This wine has broader shoulders compared to 2010 and 2012. Dark fruit, prune, plum and dried cherry lift heavily from the bouquet. Those more obvious aromas are followed by ethereal touches of ash, li ...Read More »
Ciro Picariello is a producer of outstanding white wines from Campania. While his emphasis is on Fiano, "a few years ago he started making Greco from a rented vineyard, a vineyard that he is now intending to buy," writes importer Oliver McCrum. "The soil is a sandy clay of volcanic origin called tuff, or 'tufo' in Italian (but the name of the appellation refers not to the soil, but to the village of Tufo, which is not far from Avellino). Picariello's Greco is made similarly to his Fiano...Ciro tells me that Greco can age like Fiano; given that he started... Read More »
This Aglianico pours a shade of deep ruby red and opens with aromas of morello cherry and cracked black pepper that lead to harmony and freshness on the palate.
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The delicious 2013 Fiano di Avellino shows excellent mineral definition and sweet layers of exotic fruit. This is a complete package and a beautiful portrait of the Fiano grape. The wine lasts long on the palate with creamy texture and balanced fruit flavors. It shows an impressive level of intensity and elegance. This white wine should continue to evolve with age. Mauro and Adele Sarno run the boutique Tenuta Sarno 1860 estate in Avellino. They make a single wine, a Fiano di Avellino, that sees fruit harvested from a high density vineyard planted 630 me ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Dark bright red. Piedirosso-typical herbaceous notes greet the nose, but aeration brings bright strawberry and red cherry aromas too. Clean and fresh in the mouth, with juicy, precise strawberry and raspberry flavors that build and linger long on the suave aftertaste. A benchmark Piedirosso wine. (ID)" (9/2015)
90 points Vinous: "Pale gold-tinged straw-yellow. Peach, apricot and yellow apple aromas and flavors are complicated by a delicate note of fresh herbs. Rich and savory, but with lively acidity adding freshness and lift. Finishes crisp, chewy and long. This is not the first time that I've been extremely impressed by what is essentially Cenatiempo’s entry-level wine, a steal at the price. (ID)" (9/2015)
90 points Vinous: "Purple. Bright fruity aromas and flavors of fresh plums and blackberry are complicated by a violet note. Lively acidity lifts and extends the dark berry and grapy flavors on the long back end, which is bright and juicy. A very pretty, floral, easy-to-drink version of Piedirosso devoid of any of the green streaks that often plague lesser wines made with this variety. The hot year undoubtedly helped the Piedirosso reach optimal physiologic ripeness." (11/2016)
90 points Wine & Spirits: "This grows at the same vineyard as Le Serole (also recommended here), from vines that produce a slightly more generous yield. Fermented in stainless steel, this wine’s flavors come off as bright yellow, tasting of chamomile flowers and fresh pineapple, the finish brisk with some warmth from alcohol. A luscious white to serve chilled with crab." (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "Melon, honey and singed orange peel notes are underscored by almond and smoke accents in this rustic white. (Web Only-2015)"
Wine Enthusiast: "Here’s a unique blend of two of Campania’s little known grapes, Casavecchia and Pallagrello Nero. It opens with a pretty fragrance of blue flower, ripe berries and spice. The soft, round palate offers red berry and fleshy blackberry accented by cinnamon-toast notes. Drink soon. (KO)" (9/2014) Wine Spectator: "A balanced, light- to medium-bodied red, with aromatic leather, spice and smoke notes. Offers bright flavors of mulled black cherry and crushed mulberry fruit. Plush finish. Drink now through 2018. (AN, Web-2015)"
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Vinous: "Deep ruby. Spicy aromas of red berries, minerals and cocoa. Bright, fresh and suave, with precise flavors of red cherry and tobacco complicated by licorice and sweet spices. The finish is bright, juicy and long but increasingly austere. Another outstanding wine from the Lonardo family. 91+? (ID)" (9/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
Pale yellow, green glints; aroma of herbs, wet stones, hints of apple and white peach; on the palate bright, fresh, great fruit/acid balance, long. Absurdly good wine for the price. 40% Biancolella, 45% Forastera, 15% other local varieties such as Collionara and Biancolellone (more or less, these are all old mixed plantings), from the island of Ischia.